Volume 2015, Issue 1
  • EISSN: 2309-3927


Marriage is in decline in many Arab countries, and this is particularly evident in the 35–39 year age group of women. This study used qualitative interviews with diplomats to the United Nations from Arab countries to help understand the decline, or delay, in family formation, and the resulting increase of single women in the 35–39 year age group. Quantitative research was also used to provide background on the twenty-two countries in the League of Arab States, and give perspective to societal conditions that could be contributing to the declining percentage of marriages among both men and women. Several factors which seemed significant in reducing or delaying family formation are: higher rates of tertiary (college) education among women, reduced job availability for men, worry about the potential of divorce and the modernization or globalization of society. Family laws and policies were studied, and compared with information gained through the personal interviews, to determine if some policies could be helpful to slow the decline of marriage in Arab countries.


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